Bangs and Whispers

Monday Morning Musings:

Early Morning, Delaware River

Bangs and Whispers

The attempt was not furtive,
not noiseless, it was abusive, shameless
a deafening crash—
we’re crashing. . .crashed

over the precipice,
past nervous titters,
and anxious alarms
into the volcano,

we wait for a line,
a beaming up and out.
There—a bird
an owl, her cry resonates—look–

each cloud indents the sky,
like a paragraph on a page,
now watch the blue
more words float into view:

less mothering from a tiny red rose
there is life and death and magic in the woods

Morning Rain

for if in rain, pale petals fall
and time cries with tapping beats
against the glass, stop, listen,
hear the drumming, hear the violin sighs

of life aches–
the raw is still there
but pink-petaled spring
whispers under a sweetened lemon sun,

failure, collapse, frightening–
and boundless—once upon a time,
the stars sang a secret. . .
I wish.

June, Red Bank Battlefield

This is a poem created from the Random Words I generated yesterday and some of the Oracle’s words from Saturday. I’m getting this up early so I can do some work before the next round of January 6 Committee Hearings begin this morning at 10:00 AM Eastern Time.

We listened to the first televised hearing on Thursday night on the radio as we were driving home from a beautiful night with dear friends at William Heritage Winery, and then watched it on TV after we got home. It was horrifying and stunning to watch. It’s beyond doubt that the former president instigated an attempted insurrection. Unfortunately, it’s gone beyond him now and growing.

Merri’s Movie, TV, Theater Club:
We finished the new season of the Danish political drama, Borgen, which was a lesson on how power corrupts. This season returned after nine years. It is an excellent series, which I highly recommend. We stated watching the new season of Stranger Things. It’s a lot of fun so far. Both shows are on Netflix. I didn’t watch either trailer because I don’t want to know anything in advance.

I get emails from Focus Features, and so I was able to see a free virtual screening of the new Downton Abbey movie, Downton Abbey: A New Era. It was a bit predictable, but it was Downton Abbey—well-acted, beautiful filmed—and if you like the show, you’ll enjoy the movie. I did.

On Saturday afternoon, we saw Into the Woods at the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia. We walked around in a light rain first. It was a very enjoyable production, the audience around three sides of a bare bones stage with an excellent orchestra raised behind them. It was a show of imagination and storytelling—no special costumes, just a few props like crowns, red cape, golden shoes, Rapunzel’s braid, etc. Several cast members played multiple roles, including playing Snowy White the Cow, the hen that laid golden eggs, and the Giants’ harp. The Baker’s vocals were the standout for me, but all the actors sang beautifully. We both enjoyed this production very much.

Washington Square Park, A rainy afternoon in June
Roof Garden

Interface

Odilon Redon, Orpheus

Interface

Are phasers set to stun or kill?
The world paused or extinguished.
Servers have crashed,
your light is off–
Can you count on the stars?

Listen for them
in the frantic fluff of fiddle-sky,
as a voice sings in the forest,
you want what she wants,
the symphony of the universe.

What if black ship-winds pound
through time, through sleep, through me—
then part?
What if the humming moon sails out over the sea?
This is the interface,

the path of the sublime
where the sky breathes blue soul-breaths
and the earth murmurs with soft leaf rustle
while rivers sigh as dawn blushes–
the secret of harmony not gone.

My poem from the Oracle. I thought she was going to give me another cadralor because the images were all over the place, but when I came back to this after my walk, it all came together.

I am behind of reading posts and comments–just several busy days and a test assignment due. I will catch up. 😊

Vanishing Point

Peder Severin Krøyer, Summer Evening at Skagen. The Artist’s Wife and Dog by the Shore

Vanishing Point

In summer’s late twilight,
violet waves tumble with mystery,
the clouds are shapeshifters,
now ships, now galloping horses
dipping their heads to graze.

This is the place where wishes dangle
and we are hooked–
lungs for gills, legs for voice–
no way to go back,
promises polished like sea glass
shatter on the rocks.

Five years. We still gaze at the horizon,
still listen for his voice, don’t we, Boy?
A tail wag of hope before we turn, leaving
our footprints. Blink, and they’re gone, too.

A poem for my summer ekphrastic prompt on dVerse. I’ve posted several works of art to choose from. Join us!

No Answers: Prosery

Edward Hopper, “Automat,” 1927

We heard about D-Day, of course, we heard. It was the beginning of the end, though we didn’t know it then—not for certain. We didn’t know if it was permanent. I was cut-off from information like everyone else. In the ensuring months of battle, I faced uncertainty—and fear. And then, finally, I was safe in body, if not in mind. I still didn’t know if I’d been betrayed. What was I supposed to do with that? Finally an end to war, yet amidst the cheering for liberation, there was still devastation and loss. What were we to do with our ghosts? What were we to do with starvation, the many who traded sex with strapping American soldiers for a meal? These are the things they don’t tell us. I went home, but the past is a hunter, stalking us, taking us unaware.

For dVerse Prosery, Lisa has asked us to this line:

“These are the things they don’t tell us.”
– Girl Du Jour, from Notes on Uvalde

She has posted the poem on the prompt page. I’ve used the line to continue my Prosery spy series. Today, June 6, 2022, is the 78th anniversary of D-Day, when Allied forces landed in Normandy, in the invasion that led to the end of the Nazi occupation of France. This year, 98-year-old American veteran Charles Shay said:

“Ukraine is a very sad situation. I feel sorry for the people there and I don’t know why this war had to come, but I think the human beings like to, I think they like to fight. I don’t know,” he said. “In 1944, I landed on these beaches and we thought we’d bring peace to the world. But it’s not possible.”

Brilliant and Broken

Monday Morning Musings:

Brilliant and Broken

Tall Pines State Preserve

Do the stars remember their songs
before they vanish into black?
Perhaps, not voiceless, they are infusions
pulsing light
through a dark heart,

Early Morning Sun over the Delaware River

a broken heart—again–
scabs picked from patched veins
the once aberrant and taboo ooze–
but we detach, too tired
to clear clouded eyes.

Instead, we strew hope and prayers
like seeds cast into a field
without thought or preparation,
waiting for flowers to bloom,
and turn their heads to the sun.

I think of stone soup—each adding. . .something,
some celery perhaps?
Would it satisfy? Hinder the hate?
Like Mother Trees, could we connect, share
and nourish?

Fresh Summer Produce–Cooking, Trying to Heal

But there’s another storm,
the caliginous sky, a rolling dark sea encroaches,
a fast and furious tide, a flash,
and gone—a recess for
the scent of petrichor and honeysuckle to play,

throwing a blanket over me, filling my senses, and
I hold the moment close,
perfect seconds pass—loved ones, sunshine,
wine, and cats, the pre-dawn choir–
Was that gunshot? A shiver down my spine.

Egrets/Heron –a bit of early morning magic chanced upon

Yet I celebrate the brilliant blush,
the wild blue, the bird-voiced morning,
and if I embrace the ghosts
the laugh that travels
through an unopened window—
reflections on the glass, I know
the future does not skirt the past.

A beautiful window on Pine Street, Philadelphia. Reflections, Past, Present, Future.

I generated a random word list yesterday, and I used some of the words in my musings today. I also used a couple stanzas that I cut from my Oracle poem on Saturday.

We had our second booster shots on Tuesday. Tuesday night I couldn’t sleep, and all-day Wednesday I felt tired, but not sleepy—just heavy and off. It suddenly lifted Wednesday night. We had severe weather alerts on Thursday, but we managed to get in a little bit over an hour at the first Vino and Vibes of the summer at William Heritage Winery. Saturday and Sunday were simply gorgeous, perfect days, as far as the weather. There was another mass shooting. This time in Philadelphia, on South Street, an area full of people enjoying a beautiful Saturday night. I know the area. But on Sunday, we went into the city to see a play at the Wilma Theater, Fairview. It’s a play that’s difficult to describe. It begins like a sitcom and turns into something else. As the director, James Ijames writes, it is “ a sitcom that trips on a wrinkle in the rug and tumbles into the uncanny, the sublime, and the truth. .. Jackie’s play asks us all to imagine together what it means to choose a different path. To practice empathy.”

We walked through Philadelphia’s Pride Celebration, and at Tria, we got great seats for a drum show.

Pride Celebration, Philadelphia–from our table at Tria Cafe. Love is Love Is Love.🌈

Just before 4 AM today I heard something—it sounded like gunshots. I didn’t imagine it because the sound woke my cat, too. (Not my husband.) People set off fire crackers, but at that time?

Merril’s TV Club: We watched the new season of Undone. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed the first season. Time travel, mental illness—it’s totally unique. We started the new season of the Danish series Borgen, an excellent political drama. This is a return to the series after many years. The first woman prime minister is now the foreign secretary, and the plot concerns the discovery of huge amounts of oil in Greenland. Greenland is still under Danish control, so there is a conflict over climate and environmental concerns and the autonomy and prosperity of the people in Greenland.

A Summer Day, on Repeat (with audio)

A Summer Day, on Repeat

1.
When we were young, yet women,
we danced—almost cool—
the universe smiled and breathed
with champagne breath, effervescent,
a symphony of light-sound.

2.
We go about our days
oblivious to the coming storm.
though the wind moans, and
the sky becomes a blackened chimney—
then a chandelier.

3.
Fish leaps, a sparkle and a splash,
green frog with banjo-string-pluck, jumps–
the mayfly darts away.
The pond tastes of anything
can happen, if only, make a wish.

4.
Tech plays with sinister access,
the world wants you to be hard—
perhaps everything must crash.
You open the program,
hit re-set, complete.

5.
Dream diamonds float amidst the rocks—
tiny ships without a compass or chart,
in the after and before,
as time spins, always
she lives in you.

The Oracle gave me an almost Cadralor. Then we went out for a walk in a nature preserve, and when we got back home, I decided to try to make it a true Cadralor. I think. I’m sharing this with dVerse Open Link Night.

Not a Typical Journey: Curtis Smith Interviews Merril D. Smith

Curtis Smith interviewed me for Small Press Reviews

Small Press Reviews

Merril D. Smith is a historian and poet with a Ph.D. from Temple University in American History. She is the author/editor of many works on history, gender, and sexuality. Her poetry has appeared in Black Bough Poetry, Anti-Heroin Chic, Fevers of the Mind, and others. She one of the hosts of the online dVerse Poets Pub. Her first poetry collection, River Ghosts was published in April 2022 by Nightingale and Sparrow Press. She lives in southern New Jersey near the Delaware River with her husband and cat.

You can find her at merrildsmith.com or on her blog, merrildsmith.wordpress.com. You can find

River Ghosts on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/River-Ghosts-Merril-D-Smith/dp/B09WZ8F9XJ/ref=sr_1_1?crid=H88P7SQGOIVR&keywords=merril+d.+smith&qid=1654011427&sprefix=Merril+D%2Caps%2C64&sr=8-1

or through the publisher, Nightingale & Sparrow: https://nightingaleandsparrow.com/river-ghosts-by-merril-d-smith/

Curtis Smith: Congratulations on River Ghosts. I really enjoyed it. I’m always interested in the journey of a first collection. How did you end up working with Nightingale and Sparrow? How has the process been?

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INSTANT CONTINUING POETRY RELAY FESTIVAL Here!

Join the INSTANT CONTINUING POETRY RELAY FESTIVAL
and lend your voice to worldwide peace!

formidable woman sanctuary

Spirit Thom gives us a push: let’s combine our creative energies and see what happens! Read the thread of poems begun here (his and mine) and post your own response, in the comments below, taking your prompt from the previous poems. Send this link out to your list. Let’s see how far and wide we can send our words. They matter! & they might just make a postive impact for change for the Highest Good.

Photo by Bekky Bekks on Unsplash

BEGINS WHEN YOU RESPOND TO THIS INVITATION(as of Wednesday June 1,2022 CST) Extends when you take responsibility for your poetic communications Grows when you link BY ANY MEDIA POSSIBLE into the growing world of poetic peaceful modes and styles Basically,this initiates a POETIC RELAY-you respond then pass this invite on to any person who might take it further via creating then communicating ways and means in metaphor of their…

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